Arkadi Zaides (b. 1979, Gomel, Belarus, former USSR) is a choreographer, curator and researcher. He holds a master’s degree from the AHK Academy of Theater and Dance in Amsterdam, and since 2021 he is a doctoral researcher in the Arts at the Antwerp University, Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Ghent University and KASK/School of Arts (HoGent). He is a member of CORPoREAL research group at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp and a member of S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts), a research unit at the Ghent University. His performances and installations have been presented in numerous dance and theatre festivals, museums, and galleries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Over the years he has curated projects such as New Dance Project in Jerusalem (2010-2011) with choreographer Anat Danieli, Moves Without Borders (2012-2015) in cooperation with Goethe Institute Tel Aviv, and Violence of Inscriptions (2015-2018) with the scholar, curator, and dramaturge Sandra Noeth in cooperation with Hebbel am Ufer theater in Berlin. The latter gathered artists, thinkers, and human-rights activists to negotiate the role of the body in producing, maintaining, legitimising, representing, and aestheticizing structural violence. He is a recipient of numerous prizes, among them a prize for demonstrating engagement in human-rights issues, awarded to Zaides by The Emile Zola Chair for Interdisciplinary Human Rights Dialogue (IL).
I am a choreographer, curator and researcher. I explore the interplay between documents and embodied practices in my work. I call my approach ‘documentary choreography’, which aims to question and intervene in social and political realities through the use of factual sources, such as interviews, testimonies, video materials, and archival information. As part of my doctoral research at the University of Antwerp, the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, the University of Ghent and KASK/School of Arts, I conduct a series of workshops, lectures, publications, master classes, and performances that share my concept and practice of documentary choreography with other practitioners and scholars. I also collaborate with various institutions and organizations to create projects that address issues such as migration, human rights, and structural violence. My teaching is based on my own artistic experience and methodology, as well as on my critical engagement with the Israeli-Palestinian and the European contexts. I invite my students to reflect on their own positionality and responsibility in relation to the documents they encounter and embody.